Sunday, March 29, 2009

The CIA and the Media

I've talked about this many times before, and will talk about it many times again. But this article should be required reading for anyone interested in how our news is shaped. And I'm sure the CIA isn't the only group with its hooks in the media.

Please read, if you haven't already, Carl Bernstein's landmark piece, "The CIA and the Media," originally published in Rolling Stone in 1977. The New York Times did a follow up piece later that same year talking extensively about the one outlet Bernstein doesn't go after, his home journal of the Washington Post.

Another excellent summary can be found here:

And please read this memo from then CIA Director Robert Gates (now Secretary of Defense), written fourteen years after Bernstein's breakthrough piece, which contains the following text about the CIA's Public Affairs Office (PAO):


1) Current Program:

a) PAO now has relationships with reporters from every major wire service, newspaper, news weekly, and television network in the nation. This has helped us turn some "intelligence failure" stories into "intelligence success" stories, and it has contributed to the accuracy of countless others. In many instances, we have persuaded reporters to postpone, change, hold, or even scrap stories that could have adversely affected national security interests or jeopardized sources and methods.

b) PAO spokespersons build and maintain these professional relationships with reporters by responding to daily inquiries from them over the telephone (3369 in 1991), by providing unclassified background briefings to them at Headquarters (174 in 1991), and by arranging for them to interview the DCI, DDCI and other senior Agency officials (164 in 1991).

c. PAO responds to numerous requests from authors, researchers, filmmakers, and others seeking information, guidance, or cooperation from the Agency in their endeavours. Some responses can be handled in a one-shot telephone call. Others, such as Life Magazine's proposed photo essay, BBC's six-part series, Ron Kessler's requests for information for his Agency book, and the need for an Agency focal point in the Rochester Institute of Technology controversy drew heavily on PAO resources.

d. PAO has also reviewed some film scripts about the Agency, documentary and fictional, at the request of filmmakers seeking guidance on accuracy and authenticity. In a few instances, we facilitated the filming of a few scenes on Agency premises. Responding positively to these requests in a limited way has provided PAO with the opportunity to help others depict the Agency and its activities accurately and without negative distortions. Except for responding to such requests, we do not seek to play a role in filmmaking ventures about the Agency which come to our attention. For example, although we knew that Oliver Stone's movie on JFK was in the works for some time, we did not contact him to volunteer an Agency viewpoint.

Here's a picture of the document for the above text, for the doubting Thomases among us.

It should be obvious to anyone who reads and digests the above that if print media was important, and TV, that control of major blogs on the Internet would be the next step in their strategy for total media dominance.

I've written at length about the CIA and the Media in the book The Assassinations. I refer you there for the details I don't have time to repeat here. If you are serious about learning Real History, you have to learn about the control of the media. You can't stop yourself from being propagandized if you have no awareness that it's happening.

It's also a bit scary that Obama is leaving in charge of the Defense Department the man who had no qualms bending the media to the will of the CIA. In this same document, the CIA references the 'briefing' (I read that as propagandizing) of new Congressional members.

I recommend reading the whole document - as it mentions the priority the CIA gives to its contacts in Academia and the business world as well as the media.

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Saturday, March 21, 2009


Either I should have been in counterintelligence, or I have seen way too many movies. I really enjoyed this film, but saw the final twist coming less than 20 minutes into the film! Still, it was fun being proven right, and when is it ever not fun to watch Clive Owen?

I talked to someone today who just hated the film - found it hard to follow and didn't care about any of them. But I enjoyed the twists, the knowing and the not knowing.

That said, I am SO glad I don't have to live that life. I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy.

P.S. My four word review of Knowing: Another 2012 movie, yawn. (The year isn't 2012, but it might as well have been.)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

CIA assassination team reported to Dick Cheney, says Hersh

“After 9/11, I haven’t written about this yet, but the Central Intelligence Agency was very deeply involved in domestic activities against people they thought to be enemies of the state. Without any legal authority for it. They haven’t been called on it yet. That does happen.

"Right now, today, there was a story in the New York Times that if you read it carefully mentioned something known as the Joint Special Operations Command -- JSOC it’s called. It is a special wing of our special operations community that is set up independently. They do not report to anybody, except in the Bush-Cheney days, they reported directly to the Cheney office. They did not report to the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff or to Mr. [Robert] Gates, the secretary of defense. They reported directly to him. ...

"Congress has no oversight of it. It’s an executive assassination ring essentially, and it’s been going on and on and on. Just today in the Times there was a story that its leaders, a three star admiral named [William H.] McRaven, ordered a stop to it because there were so many collateral deaths.

Provocative words from Sy Hersh, as quoted in the Minnesota Post. Read the whole thing here. Listen to it here.

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Sunday, March 08, 2009

Real History Archives saved, and Watchmen

Quick note: I found a way to save the Real History Archives, so they'll be around for some time to come.

Quick note 2: I watched the Watchmen, and wished I hadn't. See my review over at